The past year has seen a boom in electronic publishing. Some new versions of Bible software programs have been released, but the big story has been electronic publishing. Almost every Bible software program now comes with an electronic library. The Logos Library System (LLS) and STEP (Standard Template for Electronic Publishing) have driven this development. The new Joshua software (Biblesoft Authoring System) from Biblesoft is on the horizon (scheduled to be released this fall) and other companies have their own electronic library formats.
Electronic productivity tools for the pastor (some of which are brand new) are also coming into their own. Computer software that can help the pastor be more productive in all areas of ministry will make a major impact in the months ahead.
Internet resources for ministry are now commonplace. The past twelve months have seen an explosion of new resources. Every major ministry and most mainline denominations maintain a web presence. Individual churches are using the Internet to extend their ministry to the ends of the earth.
Doing an article on software for the pastor must include Bible Study Resources, Ministry Resources and Internet Resources. Due to space limitations and the large number of resources available, we will only give a brief overview of products and how to obtain additional information. Because products may have a number of editions, prices are not included.
A brief statement about computer hardware is in order. It continues to get better, faster and more affordable. Churches are now seeing the computer not only as a “vital tool for ministry” but an “indispensable tool.”
To review the PC software, I used a Pentium-based system, with 24 MB of RAM, running Windows ’95. For the Macintosh software I used a PowerMac with 16 MB of RAM running Mac O/S 7.5. With the CD-ROM-based packages, I installed only the minimal amount necessary on my hard drive. I don’t like to read manuals, so I installed and used each package without reading the manual or accompanying documentation. I’m pleased to report that all of these products could be easily installed. The products reviewed in this article are arranged by one of three categories and in alphabetical order by title.
Bible Study Resources
Accordance for Macintosh by The GRAMCORD Institute – For more information call (360) 576-3000
The Accordance CD-ROM offers over 50 Bible texts and reference works. A library of English texts and tools is unlocked and included in the price, and many others are available for unlocking.
Accordance allows searches for combinations of words or phrases in the Bible texts. The search results are displayed in entire verses which can be viewed and printed in parallel versions. A palette of buttons allows hypertexting from any Bible text to the relevant entries in a dictionary or other reference work, or to the user’s notes, as well as analysis and plots of the search results. All tools are completely searchable and hypertextable.
Clicking on any scripture reference opens a window with the full text of the verses.
Available modules include 14 English and several foreign translations, dictionaries and lexicons, commentaries, cross references, parallel passage databases, and other reference works. The grammatically tagged original Hebrew and Greek texts allow the definition of a search based on the way a word is used in the text, using the graphical Construct window.
For more information or to order write The GRAMCORD Institute, 2218 NE Brookview Dr., Vancouver, WA 98686 (Specify IBM or Mac); call (360) 576-3000; fax (503) 761-0626; or e-mail .
Bible Explorer Version 2.0 by Epiphany Software – For more information call (800) 280-7437
Bible Explorer 2.0 (BE2) comes in six editions. The Discovery Edition retails for $14.95, the Standard Edition retails for $39.95, the Reference Edition for $69.95, the Student Edition for $149.94, the Teacher Edition for $249.95 and the Scholar Edition for $349.95
BE2 includes a special Library window which provides an expandable outline, or directory, indexing all Bible texts and reference materials. The library includes a large assortment of materials categorized as Bibles, Christian Literature, Commentaries, Devotionals, Maps & Atlases, Photographs & Art, Study Helps, Study Notes, Topic Studies, and Word Studies.
BE2 CD-ROM is an expandable library. If one purchases the Discovery Edition, later Editions may be added by calling Epiphany Software. To view available add-on books, click on the Options menu; then select “Order New Book,” and the list of add-on books available is displayed. Call (800) 280-7437 and Epiphany will quickly guide one through the procedure of unlocking his or her chosen edition.
For more information or to order call (800) 280-7437, or visit their web page at .
Bible Source for Windows, NIV Complete Bible Study Edition CD-ROM by Zondervan Publishing House. For more information contact your local Family Bookstore or call (800) 727-3480
The NIV Study Bible continues to be the study Bible of choice for many Christians, so they should feel at home with the Bible Source software from Zondervan. The CD-ROM package includes the NIV text, NIV Study Bible Notes, NIVBible Dictionary, NIV Bible Commentary, NIV Footnotes, the KJV text, Expository Dictionary, Naves Topical Bible, and the Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. New features added in’ 97 include full-color maps, expanded button bar, and, for those using Windows 95, long file names and the ability to “drag and drop.”
Zondervan has adopted the Standard Template for Electronic Publishing (STEP) for its electronic books. They plan to release 25 volumes of STEP-compatible products in early 1998: two libraries, including the NIV Study Bible Notes and the Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary, and three multi-volume reference works, including the twelve-volume Expositors Bible Commentary.
BibleSource for Windows-NIV Complete Bible Study Edition is available in local Christian bookstores or by calling (800) 727-3480. For additional information e-mail or visit the Zondervan web site at .
Bible Windows 5.0 CD-ROM by Silver Mountain Software. For more information call (800) 214-2144
The seminary student, pastor or missionary looking for electronic resources for biblical language study should consider Bible Windows 5.0. Version 5.0 adds links to Internet resources. The Greek text is linked to the Perseus Project and their complete Liddell & Scott Lexicon. Bible programs which use the Liddell & Scott Lexicon use the abridged version; the Perseus web site contains the complete, unabridged Lexicon. The Perseus site is linked to a number of other sites that contain many works of Classical Greek literature in Greek and English.
Bible Windows has long had word-for-word glossing of the Greek New Testament; Version 5.0 adds this feature to the Hebrew Bible. The Bible Windows Interlinear display now includes the grammatical tags, dictionary forms and a translation for each word in the original language texts.
For more information write Silver Mountain Software, 1029 Tanglewood Drive, Cedar Hill, TX 75104; call (800) 214-2144; e-mail ; or visit their web site at where a demo version of Bible Windows may be viewed. The web site also provides downloads of minor revisions to the Bible Windows program as well as some free utilities for current customers.
BibleMaster 2.0 Reference Library CD-ROM for Windows & Macintosh by Foundation Publications, publisher for The Lockman Foundation. For more information call (800) 535-5131
The BibleMaster 2.0 Reference Library CD-ROM includes these study tools and references:
– NASB Cross References
– NASB Strong’s Hebrew/Greek Transliterated Dictionaries
– Topical Studies- Treasury of Scripture Knowledge- Updated NASB Cross References
As many Bible text windows may be opened as needed. When opening a Bible, the user can select the book of choice from lists that are grouped as Old Testament, New Testament, OT History, OT Poetry, Prophets, and Epistles. A starting chapter and verse may be typed as needed. Icons are provided to jump one chapter or book at a time.
Search results are returned as a list of verses which can be viewed in 3 modes: Verse, Context, and Excerpt. The latter simply shows the first line of each verse. Boolean and wildcard search functions are provided. A simple text editor is included which functions much like the Windows Notepad editor. User-generated index files contain verse references related to a particular topic. The software provides the capability of creating notes attached to words or verses. I found the notes features awkward to use.
The BibleMaster CD-ROM Library is available through American Bible Sales, 870 Anaheim Boulevard, Anaheim CA 92805. For information about BibleMaster fax (714) 879-3058, e-mail , or visit the Lockman Foundation web site at .
BibleWorks 3.5 for Windows by Hermeneutika Computer Bible Research. For more information call (800) 742-4253
If you are looking for an exceptional selection of Bible texts and reference materials, you need to consider BibleWorks 3.5 for Windows. BibleWorks 3.5 is one of the best programs (if not the best) available today for the serious Bible scholar. Version 3.5 has new tools, new search capabilities, new databases and comes with a special upgrade price for registered users of earlier versions.
BibleWorks 3.5 not only has a number of English translations and Greek and Hebrew text but also Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Latin and Spanish translations as well. Their reference works make the BibleWorks program a great exegetical and expositional Bible study tool. Accurate exposition requires accurate exegesis, and BibleWorks provides the tools needed for detailed analyses of the Biblical texts. Hermeneutika’s motto “For Exegetical and Expositional Excellence” is true.
New users can get “up-to-speed” quickly by using the multimedia demos located on Hermeneutika’s web site on the Internet. You’re walked through the primary functions of the program and are given simple explanations of complex tasks.
For more information about BibleWorks 3.5 call Hermeneutika at (800) 742-4253, visit their web site at , or e-mail . The web site contains the latest maintenance updates and information on BibleWorks.
Books for the Ages Library for Windows and Macintosh by Ages Software (formerly SAGE Software). For more information call (800) 297-4307
Books for the Ages CD-ROM (formerly The SAGE Digital Library) contains volumes of information. The 4 volumes exist on a single CD-ROM. The Books for the Ages uses the Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing and searching functions. The Old and New Testaments are loaded in the Acrobat Reader separately. The predefined bookmarks allow the user to jump to the beginning of any book or chapter. She may then scroll from there to the desired verse. The Bible text and other texts appear on the screen in pages, and the entire process works much like a Bible that has been “thumb-indexed” to the chapter level. This program contains a wealth of reference texts to expand your electronic library greatly.
This CD-ROM runs on both PC and Macintosh computers. For more information or to order call (800) 297-4307. Learn more about Books for the Ages by visiting their web site at .
Christian Classics – Biblical Study Collection (Volumes 1 & 2) by Christian Classics Foundation. For more information call (800) 942-3766
Using the Logos Library System, the Christian Classics Foundation has published a Biblical Study Collection CD-ROM (Volumes 1 & 2) designed to include solid teaching from all the different areas of biblical study. This CD-ROM of 25 books has over 10,000 subjects in its one-of-a-kind topical index. Instead of sorting through 5000 “hits” in a concordance search, one can find the spot he is looking for because of the outstanding indexing done by the editors.
To reach the Christian Classics Foundation call (800) 942-3766, e-mail , or visit their web site at .
Deluxe Bible for Windows 2.0 by Rocky Mountain Laboratories. For more information call (800) 743-1651
The Deluxe Bible 2.0 is a user-friendly reference tool. The program is available in the King James Version, (KJV); the New King James Version, (NKJ); and the Catholic New American Bible, (NAB).
Many Bible programs consume a large part of your hard drive. The Deluxe Bible requires, depending on the version, from 7.5Mb (KJV & NKJ) to 10Mb (NAB) of space. If installing from CD-ROM, one may choose to do a full installation to the hard disk or operate directly from the CD-ROM, consuming only 25 Kbytes of hard drive space.
The program is easy to use and comes with a good basic set of features. A click of the mouse allows the user to move either to the next or previous book or directly to the beginning of any book.
Deluxe Bible doesn’t offer multiple windows that would allow multiple translations to be opened simultaneously. If ease of use, is of principal importance, with only a few bells and whistles, Deluxe Bible offers a friendly way to enter the world of computerized Bible study.
Deluxe Bible for Windows is available either on disks or CD-ROM from Rocky Mountain Software, P.O. Box 272224, Fort Collins CO 80527. A shareware edition of the KJV and NAB New Testament in Deluxe Bible 2.0 is available from their web site at or directly from Rocky Mountain Laboratories at (800) 743-1651.
Gramcord Greek New Testament for Windows by The GRAMCORD Institute – For more information call (360) 576-3000
The GRAMCORD Institute recently released GRAMCORD Greek New Testament for Windows Version 2.0. This enhanced edition of the classic Biblical language research system represents ever more powerful grammatical concording capabilities as well as a new edition of the GRAMCORD GNT morphological database. The program allows user selection of either order-specific or non-order-specific element sequences and an instantaneous “follow the mouse” parsing-and-word-definition floating palette (as first appeared in the Institute’s popular Accordance/GRAMCORD for the Macintosh program).
Complex grammatical/syntactical searches can now be extended beyond sentence boundaries to cover paragraphs, chapters, and books. The new database includes many new alternate parsings/lemmatizations as well as function-based “used as” tags. This latest GRAMCORD continues the Institute’s tradition of meeting the basic demands of pastors and students while not sacrificing the needs of the professional exegete. GRAMCORD Greek NT for Windows operates on virtually any Windows/Windows 95 computer and requires only 6MB of disk space.
For the past two years the Institute has funded and coordinated teams of Biblical scholars in the revision of three important morphologically-tagged Biblical language databases: GRAMCORD Greek New Testament, Westminster Hebrew Masoretic Morphological, and the CCAT LXX Morph. As the Institute releases these new modules in the coming months, Biblical scholars will benefit from a new level of accuracy and search capabilities suitable for publication use and the creation of new reference works.
GRAMCORD Institute news, software tours, demos, and downloadable upgrades are regularly posted on the Institute web site at .
For more information or to order write The GRAMCORD Institute, 2218 NE Brookview Dr., Vancouver, WA 98686 (Specify IBM or Mac); call (360) 576-3000; fax (503) 761-0626; or e-mail .
HeavenWord Audio Bible for Windows by HeavenWord Inc. For more information call (800) 347-0077
The HeavenWord Audio Bible for Windows is the only computer program that reads the Bible aloud.
Have you ever listened to the Bible on cassette? With HeavenWord you can do that with your computer; plus you can search for words, topics, etc. just like other Bible software. It also includes a Bible reading planner, Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening for devotional thoughts, a journal to record your daily reflections and a reminder page to keep prayer and to-do lists handy.
HeavenWord is available in: King James Version, New American Standard Bible, New International Version, and New King James Version. It is a great way to start the day. The recordings are excellent and will put a positive start to your day.
For more information on how to order HeavenWord Audio Bible for Windowscall HeavenWord, Inc. at (800) 347-0077; fax (919) 876-1147; or visit their web site at .
Logos Bible Software 2.1 and the Logos Library System (LLS) by Logos Research Systems – For more information call (800) 875-6467
Logos Bible Software 2.1 is an ever-growing collection of electronic books (they have passed the 500 book mark). Each volume of your library appears in a library browser, which works much like a directory tree or outline structure. For example, double-clicking on a specific Bible drops down a list of books, double-clicking on a particular book drops down a list of chapters, and double clicking on a chapter opens the text in a window beginning at the chapter of interest. An instructional video tape is included with the software to guide the user and to demonstrate some of the more advanced features.
Logos Research Systems, Inc. is the first company I’m aware of to attempt to cross the boundary from electronic Bible study software to formal cataloguing and Library Science. As more and more electronic titles are created, it is only a matter of time before users depend on these electronic titles for formal writing that requires bibliographic citation. Logos provides full sets of catalog cards in electronic form. In addition they provide a MARC record used by the Library of Congress as a standard format for the exchange of bibliographic data between computers.
Logos 2.1 is available with any book in the Logos collection and is packaged in several other retail configurations such as MacArthur’s New Testament Commentaries, Topical Analysis of the Bible, Baker Illustration Library, and many other products from BakerBytes Software. The purchaser receives Logos 2.1 free. The user has flexibility and control over what books he selects for his electronic library.
Logos Research Systems, Inc. may be reached by calling (800) 875-6467, by fax at (360) 675-8169, or visit their web site at .
Additional Publishers using the Logo Library System for electronic publishing include:
Baker Book House – (616) 676-9185
Christianity Today, Inc. – (630) 260-6200
Christian Classics Foundation – (864)967-0003
Click! Multimedia (Israel) – (972) 36396740
Facts on File, Inc. – (212) 967-8800
Hodder and Stoughton PLC – 011-44-171-873-6000
Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. – (410) 764-6144
Jewish Publication Society – (215) 564-5925
Labels Army Company – (718) 507-7042
Liturgical Press – (612)363-2213
Logos Research Systems, Inc. – (800) 875-6467
Northwestern Publishing House – (414) 475-6600
Review and Herald Publishing Association – (301) 791-7000
Thomas Nelson, Inc. – (800) 251-4000
Vision Data – 011-46-1-910-1014
Woodlawn Electronic Publishing – (215) 657-9935
MacBible Library CD-ROM for Macintosh by Zondervan Publishing House. For more information call (800) 727-7759
MacBible has long been available for Macintosh. Version 3.2.5 makes use of the enhancements of the Mac O/S7. MacBible has great search features and the ability to display multiple text and references at the same time. Text modules include the NIV, KJV, NRSV, NAB and NASB. Reference modules include the NIV Study Bible Notes and the Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. Original language modules include the UBS3 (corrected Greek) Greek New Testament and the BHS Hebrew Old Testament.
MacBible for the Macintosh is available in many local Christian bookstores or by calling (800) 727-3480. For information, e-mail , or visit their web site at .
Nelson Electronic Bible Reference Library by Nelson Electronic Publishing – For more information call (800) 933-9673 ext. 2830
The Nelson Electronic Bible Reference Library (NEBRL) was just released this summer. The Nelson group did extensive research to make sure their product would provide what the Christian computer user wanted. The result was a list of four priorities: content, expandability, ease of use and value. NEBRL uses the Logos Library System and includes Bible translations, word study material, cross-reference tools, background studies and will incorporate hundreds of additional electronic books in the future from an unparalleled list of Christian titles.
The NEBRL is available in three editions: The Starter Edition, the Basic Edition and the Deluxe Edition. Using Logos’ unlocking capability, a library can be built one book at a time or many volumes at a time. There’s flexibility to fit both the user’s needs and pocketbook. The NEBRL is available at most Christian bookstores or by calling Thomas Nelson Publishers at (800) 933-9673 ext. 2830.
Online Bible for DOS, Windows and Macintosh by Online Bible. For more information call (800) 243-7124
The Online Bible comes in either DOS or Windows. The current CD-ROM includes a fast 32-bit search program especially for Windows 95 and NT users. Larry Pierce’s widely-copied Strong’s numbers keyed to Greek and Hebrew definitions and verb parsing are in the Authorized King James version and the Greek Textus Receptus. There are also ten other English Bibles to compare onscreen or print out.
Also included in the latest version are color maps, illustrated Bible stories and McGuffey readers for kids, as well as scholarly books on disk. These include creationist and archeological works, as well as historical classics from Bunyan and Gill. Commentaries include John Gill, Matthew Henry, Geneva Bible, A.T. Robertson, B.W. Johnson, C.I. Scofield (keyed to Philip Mauro’s critique) and several others. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David, Morning and Evening devotionals, and Comments on Commentaries are also included
Missionaries will note that Online Bible has over 30 foreign languages now on the CD-ROM, and that programmer Larry Pierce will donate CD-ROMs to overseas missionaries. Requests may be sent to Online Bible USA, Box 21, Bronson, MI 49036, and should include a missionary’s qualifying information and a $6 mailing fee. To fax from overseas, call (517) 369-2518.
Online Bible is still quite freely shareable, except for the NIV, NASB, NRSV and other copyrighted texts. That is how Online has developed such a large user base over the last ten years without much advertising.
A Macintosh version of the Online Bible is available on CD-ROM with most of the same features. For more information or to order call (800) 243-7124.
PC Study Bible 3.0 for Windows by Biblesoft. For more information call (800) 995-9058
Beginning in September one will be able to create Bible studies and reference materials that integrate seamlessly into the PC Study Bible. For a number of years Biblesoft has been working to develop an authoring system for the creation of computerized Bible studies and reference materials. This authoring system enables anyone to create content that will integrate into the PC Study Bible. This system will be available for use by Christian publishers, ministries, authors, pastors, teachers, and everyday students of the Bible who would like to create content for use in PC Study Bible.
The first edition of the Biblesoft Authoring System (BAS) will be included in PC Study Bible version 3.0, scheduled for release in September 1997.
A number of Bible study and Bible reference materials from a number of well-known Bible teachers, authors, and ministries will be available soon after the release of BAS.
PC Study Bible 3.0 will be available this fall in most Christian bookstores. For more information call (800) 995-9058, or visit the Biblesoft web site at .
QuickVerse 4.0, Deluxe Bible Reference Collection for Windows by Parsons Technology – For more information call (800) 223-6925
The QuickVerse 4.0 Deluxe Bible Reference Collection Teacher’s Edition is a study tool for pastors, teachers and serious students of the Bible. The CD-ROM includes 12 translations and 17 Bible reference titles.
There are four study tools (PC Bible Atlas; Nave’s Topical Bible; Strong’s Concordance; and the New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance) and study notes from some of today’s most popular study Bibles (The Disciple’s Study Bible; Treasury of Scripture Knowledge; Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible; The Rainbow Study Bible; The New Scofield Study Bible; The Believer’s Study Bible and The Ryrie Study Bible Expanded Edition).
Rounding out the collection are six QuickVerse Library (Parsons STEP Book Reader) reference books. Parsons has agrowing number of STEP-compatible books available.
Parsons also has a number of additional products a pastor will find useful in sermon preparation. These include:
– Bible Illustrator – 2,500 thought-provoking and timely stories, quotes and anecdotes!
– Drapers Book of Quotations for the Christian World
– The Complete Books of Bible Trivia & American Trivia
– The Complete Book of Zingers, Practical Proverbs and Wacky Wit
For more information about Quick Verse and Quick Verse Library books, or to order, contact Parsons Technology at (800) 223-6925, or via their web site at . Quick Verse and related products can now be downloaded directly to the hard drive from the web site.
The Teacher’s Bible Companion for Windows from Companion Bible Software. For more information call (800) 526-2796
The Teacher’s Bible Companion is a user-friendly program with a large selection of Bibles and reference materials. I like the color “highlighters” for marking passages in various colors. Several commentaries are provided including your own personal notes. Search statistics give information on how many “hits” you have had on a book-by-book basis. The current status of your work can be saved in four different desktops. I found this to be very useful when working on more than one study project.
A free evaluation edition of the Bible Companion may be downloaded at the Companion Bible Software web site. The demo includes the following:
– BCS Engine
– KJV with Strong’s numbers
– American Standard Version
– Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
– Nave’s Topical Bible
– Greek Textus Receptus
– French Louis Segond
– German Luther Bible
– Spanish 1909 Reina Valera
This is a fully working, full-featured copy of the Bible Companion Series that may be used indefinitely.
Bible Companion Software is a ministry of Loizeuax Brothers, Inc.
For more information about The Bible Companion Series Software, write Bible Companion Software, P.O. Box 277, Neptune NJ 07754; call (800) 526-2796; fax (908) 922-9487; or visit their web site at .
The Scroll Multimedia Bible for Windows by Electronic Christian Media. For more information call (800) 381-7326
Because The Scroll is a multimedia product, it’s different from the other Bible software products mentioned. An MPC-compatible double-speed CD-ROM drive and sound card are required. The CD-ROM includes the King James Version text, 1000 color photos and illustrations, 78 topical entries, 10 color maps, 24 charts, Bible timeline, 22 videos / animation sequences, and 140 Greek and Hebrew pronunciations.
For more information or to order write Electronic Christian Media, 19 Dresden Street, Riverview, New Brunswick, Canada E1B 3G8; call (800) 381-7326; fax (800) 381-2311; e-mail , or visit The Scroll web site located at .
Thompson Bible Study Library CD-ROM for Windows by Kirkbride Technology. For more information call (800) 428-4385
Kirkbride Technology has just released their new Bible study software product — the Thompson Bible Study Library (it replaces HyperBible). The Thompson Bible Study Library marks a major change for Kirkbride. Known for its HyperBible software for Macintosh and PC, the new Kirkbride product make use of STEP technology which allows users to access any STEP-formatted product easily and seamlessly. Kirkbride is developing several STEP products in the areas of classic Christian devotional and inspirational works, sermon and lesson outlines, standard and contemporary reference works, commentaries and an extensive collections of photos, maps, and audio databases. The Thompson Bible Study Library will access any of these new STEP products through its use of the WORDsearch 4 STEP-reader which comes with and actually powers the Thompson Bible Study Library.
The Thompson Bible Study Library contains one of the world’s best-known topical Bible-study systems, the Thompson Study System (known as the Thompson Chain Reference Bible).
Kirkbride will continue to support the HyperBible Bible study software for both Windows and Macintosh computer platforms.
For information about Thompson Bible Study Library call (800) 428-4385, e-mail , or visit Kirkbride’s web site at .
Ultimate Bible 1.4 for Windows by Simila Soft Software. For more information call (800) 991-3004
The Ultimate Bible 1.4 for Windows comes on ten diskettes and includes two English versions of the Bible (KJV, ASV), plus five reference books. The program is fairly simple and can perform a number of functions.
The Ultimate Bible 1.4 CD-ROM includes a number of Bible translations, several commentaries and several other resources (The number of translations and resources depends on the CD-ROM version ordered).
For more information or to order The Ultimate Bible call (800) 991-3004, fax (360) 956-9685, e-mail , or visit their web site at .
Verse Search For Windows by Bible Research Systems. For more information call (800) 423-1228
Verse Search is computer software for searching the scripture text and copying the verses/passages into lesson/sermon documents. Bible Research Systems has a Value Pak CD-ROM edition that includes the KJV and a choice of an additional translation, Bible Maps, Personal Commentary, Major Bible Themes and Bible Dictionary modules. When doing a word search, a list of references is returned in the Verse List window. Click on the reference and it moves to the verse.
Multiple Bible text windows may be synchronized to scroll together and attach personal notes to any verse. Follow the Daily Reading Schedule, one will read the New Testament in six months or the entire Bible in one year. Twenty maps are included along with a corresponding Index of Geographical Terms.
These Bible study tools are available for Windows, DOS and Macintosh. For more information or to order, write Bible Research Systems, 2012 Wells Branch Parkway, #304, Austin TX 78728; call (800) 423-1228; fax (512) 251-4401; e-mail ; or visit their web site .
WORDsearch 4 for Windows by NavPress Software. For more information call (800) 888-9898
WORDsearch 4 has one of the most user-friendly interfaces on the market and was very easy to learn. It is fully compatible with all STEP resources available from NavPress Software and/ or other STEP-compatible vendors.
NavPress Software products are designed for pastors, youth workers, and participants in small group or personal Bible study. A key companion to WORDsearch is LESSONmaker, a unique program for assembling custom Bible study guides from a huge library of discussion questions and background resources. WORDsearch and LESSONmaker are both STEP-compatible programs and draw upon a library of supporting translations, commentaries, study notes, and dictionaries in STEP.
The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible, part of the popular series from Leadership Ministries Worldwide, was released this past spring by NavPress as a STEP resource. Every scripture passage is outlined verse by verse and categorized by subject. A wealth of commentary is included along with thoughts for practical application, references to related Scripture verses, and a detailed bibliography covering more than 40 commentaries, Greek sources, and other reference works.
NavPress has also released the Life Application Bible. It includes verse-by-verse notes, overviews, charts, time lines, vital statistics, character sketches, outlines and a topical index.
NavPress has software products available for Windows, Windows 95, Macintosh, and DOS on diskette and CD-ROM. For more information contact NavPress Software at (800) 888-9898; 1934 Rutland Drive, Suite 500; Austin, TX 78758; e-mail ; or visit their web site at .
Ministry Resources
Greek Tutor by Parsons Technology. For more information call (800) 223-6925
Parsons Technology has provided the first thorough, affordable, easy-to-use CD-ROM that will guide you through a complete basic course of New Testament Greek. Greek Tutor will get you through the basics, (the alphabet) and the advanced materials, (adverbial participles) that are part of a first-year Greek course. In the process it will help you learn to pronounce the language, build a healthy Greek vocabulary, memorize Greek verses, and translate the first three chapters of the Gospel of John.
The basic grammatical features of NT Greek are treated in the Greek Tutor — accent marks; nouns; pronouns; adjectives; articles; prepositions; and, of course, the verb. The noun instruction works within the five-case system (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative) rather than the more bulky eight-case (it omits the ablative, locative, and instrumental). All features of the verbal system — tense, voice, mood, person, number, as well as finite verbs, infinitives, participles, and imperatives — are covered with a variety of useful helps.
For more information or to order contact Parsons Technology at (800) 223-6925 or visit their web site at .
Hebrew Tutor by Parsons Technology. For more information call (800) 223-6925
Parsons Technology’s Hebrew Tutor Multimedia CD-ROM is a self-paced, interactive program that uses sight and sound to teach the basics of biblical Hebrew. It covers the equivalent of a first-year course in biblical Hebrew. It requires an IBM or compatible computer with a minimum 486SX processor at 25 MHz, Windows 3.1 or later, 4 MB RAM (8 MB recommended), 1 MB hard drive space, a CD-ROM drive compatible with Multimedia PC specifications, a 256-color monitor at 640 x 480 (minimum), a 16-bit sound card with MIDI (minimum), and a mouse or equivalent point device.
For more information or to order contact Parsons Technology at (800) 223-6925 or visit their web site at .
Ministry Notebook for Windows by Parsons Technology. For more information call (800) 644-6344
A brand new product from Parsons Technology is the Ministry Notebook for Windows. It is a new database program designed for pastors and others involved in ministry. It’s a computer tool for organizing ministry-related paperwork. Ministry Notebook includes separate database options for tracking sermons, prayer requests, books, telephone contacts, mileage and travel expenses.
Ministry Notebook provides an excellent expense report to submit for reimbursement. It can automatically calculate mileage and reimbursable expenses and stores trip information including dates, origins and destinations. The program also prints a blank expense report which can carried along as one travels.
Ministry Notebook will also categorize and organize a minister’s sermons and personal library; in addition, it will record and track prayer requests.
For more information call (800) 644-6344 or visit their web site at .
Pastor’s Helpmate for Windows by Pinnacle Productions. For more information e-mail
This is a church data management application written using Microsoft Access. It has been designed to allow church administrators to manage their data including membership, attendance, contribution, and group membership records efficiently and effectively.
Every attempt has been made to include all the features and flexibility in a church database program into Pastor’s Helpmate. However, nearly every church has its own unique needs and requirements. It is because of this that many commercial church software packages fail to be the best software solution for most churches. By designing Pastor’s Helpmate using MS Access, the end user is able to view and edit the program design himself/herself (registered version only). When required, anyone with MS Access experience can customize Pastor’s Helpmate to meet specific and unique needs.
Pastor’s Helpmate is shareware and may be used for a 30-day period for evaluation purposes. A $75 registration fee is requested if you continue using the software beyond the 30-day trial period. As a shareware program, Pastor’s Helpmate has the ultimate satisfaction guarantee possible: use it — if you don’t like it, don’t pay for it.
A sample database is provided in the shareware version of the application to allow potential users a realistic, hands-on experience. In addition users may begin entering their church’s data into the shareware version without having to re-enter data upon receiving the registered version. Individual versions of Pastor’s Helpmate are available for MS Access 2.0, MS Access 7.0, and MS Access 97 (though functionally these applications are identical).
Visit the Pastor’s Helpmate web site at for more information including free downloads of the latest versions. You can send your request for a demo or for more information to Pinnacle Productions, 7684 Banklick Street, Florence, KY 41042 or by e-mail at .
Pastor’s Secretary for Windows: A Database Manager For All The Pastor’s Needs from .COM Computer Systems, Inc.
Pastor’s Secretary for Windows (PSWin) is a database application for the pastor, other Christian worker, or ministry-involved layman. It includes 16 databases, all of which are driven by a powerful database engine. The databases include: Area Codes/Time Zones, Contacts, Church Attendance, Church Donations, Church Membership, Church Library, Counseling Manager, Counseling Topics (with Scriptures), Home/Office Inventory (new to the Windows version), Master Topic Index, Pastor’s Library, Personal Journal, Prayer List, Schedule, Sermons, and Software.
PSWin also includes several extra Windows utilities:
1. NoteBook, a quick and easy way to write and keep track of notes.
2. One Page Calendar, a quality calendar-printing utility.
3. PCAlarm, an alarm utility that sounds an alarm after a specified number of minutes and optionally displays a message you input.
4. QuickRun, a command line utility that quickly runs a program.
For more information or to order write COM Computer Systems, Inc., 1041 Cleveland, Meeker, CO 81641, or call (970) 878-3228. You can also download a copy from www.gospelcom.net/ccmag/doc/>. Upon registration the user receives a password to unlock all features either by mail, e-mail, or fax. PSWin also comes in a DOS version. Sermon Prep for Windows by Bitlogic Inc.
SermonPrep is a software program designed mainly for churches using the Lectionary as a worship guide. It allows the user to “create, store, and search” their sermons, plans, or lessons within a single program. A user can create his/her own notebook within the program and then store sermons in the notebook database. Sermons are stored in an organized way under the Lectionary, Bible, or Alphabetical Contents. SermonPrep add-ons currently available include lectionaries, Bibles, dictionaries, commentaries and a variety of sermon helps based upon the New Common Lectionary. Since SermonPrep works on networks, it can accommodate multiple users, each with his/her own notebook.
The first thing I did, after installing the software, was to create my own sermon notebook. Each time you prepare a sermon, you decide where you want to store it by simply selecting a space in your notebook database; the space may be under a particular Sunday of the Lectionary, under a book of the Bible, or under a letter of the Alphabet. Once you have selected a space in your notebook, you begin typing. For references, you can click on a Sunday reading, a Bible chapter, a Commentary chapter, a Sermon help, or a past sermon of your own. Using the copy and paste function of Windows, you can assemble and edit as you prepare your sermon. Using the powerful search engine, you can not only search all your add-on references, but you can even search your own past sermons too.
SermonPrep and SermonPrep add-ons are currently available from: CSS Publishing Co., 517 South Main St., Lima, Ohio 45804 (800) 241-4056 and Sheed and Ward, 115 E. Armour Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64141 (800) 333-7373. SermonPrep is available to publishers from Bitlogic Inc., 550 W. 18th, Yuma, AZ 85364 (520) 782-6454. Demo Disks are available from both CSS Publishing and Sheed & Ward.
Internet Resources
It would be impossible to begin to list the fantastic Christian web sites on the Internet. The opportunities of the web are limitless and I strongly recommend churches and ministries establish a presence on the web. There are three major providers that I want to suggest as a starting point in understanding what ministry can be on the web and how to get started.
Didax was brought into existence to accomplish — within a f or-profit operating environment — fundamentally religious spiritual purposes in support of the Christian community. Didax is a dedicated group of Christian professionals bringing years of experience to the fields of World Wide Web development and communication technology.
Goshen is a well organized resource directory, has a powerful search engine (GoSearch), a library of Christian shareware, devotionals, daily news reports, and online study tools. Goshen is designed for speed. It has a high-speed (T1) connection directly to the backbone of the Internet, a Sun SPARCstation 20 Unix-based Internet server with a dual HyperSPARC processor, and all the hardware and software necessary to build a solid and expandable framework. Our graphic design tools include high-quality scanning equipment and high-speed CD-ROM and disk-based storage.
Gospel Communications Network is an alliance of Christian organizations dedicated to spreading the Gospel over the Internet’s World Wide Web. It is the largest Christian server with 75 member ministries and over 15,000,000 “hits” per month. It is a ministry of Gospel Films.
A Bible study software program is a great tool for preachers. The most often asked question is, “What is the best program?” I believe the correct answer is there’s not a best! Personally, I’m thrilled that we have choices because I know people take different approaches to the study of God’s Word. With so many choices, there is a program that will help each of us become better Bible students. Choosing a Bible study program is not an easy decision. Fortunately, all of the companies are happy to send information that will help you be fully aware of what their product offers. Don’t hesitate to call or e-mail them and ask for more information.
Ministry resources are growing and more technology tools are on the horizon. Take advantage of these tools that can help you be more productive and efficient in doing the work of the ministry. Don’t become discouraged by what, at first, seems hard. The learning curve is part of the reality of using computers, but the benefits are well worth the effort.
The Internet is here to stay and affords churches and ministries an unprecedented opportunity literally to reach out “to the uttermost parts of the earth.”

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